Ruth E. Dodge

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  • "Very sorry to hear of the passing of Mrs Dodge. She and her..."
    - Thomas Joy
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Ruth Elizabeth Van Sant Dodge, 98, of Sykesville, died in her sleep Saturday, June 22, 2013, at home at Fairhaven.

Born Nov. 11, 1914, in Berkeley, Calif., she was the daughter of the late Ruth Goodman Van Sant and Robert Hayes Van Sant. She was the wife of the late J. Robert Dodge.

As a young girl she traveled extensively with her brother and parents, living in France, Switzerland and Mallorca. Her family returned to the U.S. in 1933 and settled in Washington, D.C. She studied art while in Europe and continued her education at the Corcoran Gallery School of Art.

She and her husband were married in 1940 and they made their home in Washington, D.C., and Braddock Heights, traveling extensively for his career. They were artists and recorded their U.S. and world travels in oil and watercolor.

Art was a lifelong passion for her and she painted in both oil and watercolor. One of her large drawings of a rural scene in Mallorca is part of the permanent collection of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. She organized numerous shows at Fairhaven, including the first juried art exhibition. She enjoyed trips to regional museums from Winterthur to Washington, D.C. She was an accomplished author, and her book "God's Gift" recorded her reflections on the Gospel According to John.

She and her husband were among the original residents of Fairhaven. At Fairhaven they became part of a thriving community of artists that shared their commitment and devotion to the Episcopal Church. She conceived the idea of and brought to fruition the Fairhaven Art Studio. Her gift for music and organization led to the Chapel Choir. Her faith was a principle focus of her life. She designed an altar frontal for the Fairhaven Chapel that symbolized the light of divine presence that infused her life. She was commissioned as a Lay Eucharistic Minister in 2004. An art gallery in her honor was dedicated at Fairhaven in 2009.

Surviving are nieces Fern Van Sant, of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Bettina Van Sant Deyl, of West Palm Beach, Fla., and their children.

She was predeceased by a brother, Harvey Van Sant.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 at Fairhaven Chapel, with the Revs. Wayne Larson and Sarah Lewis officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Fairhaven Chapel Fund, 7200 Third Ave., Sykesville, MD 21784.

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Published in Carroll County Times from July 8 to July 9, 2013
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